Coronavirus latest: Latest UK lockdown has wide public support, poll indicates

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1,233,785Updated at 11/7/2020, 6:37:50 PM BST11/8/2020, 11:46:51 PM

Jaeger-LeCoultre keeps close watch on China

Ming Liu in London Catherine Renier heads up one of the oldest and most storied Swiss watchmaking houses, but she is no stranger to making quick decisions.

Prior to taking up her current role as Jaeger-LeCoultre's chief executive in 2018, Ms Renier spent a decade at Van Cleef & Arpels in Asia. That experience will surely resonate in a post-pandemic world. In September, Swiss watch exports fell 12 per cent year on year.

All markets had negative growth, except China, which grew 78.7 per cent. Read more here

11/8/2020, 11:25:45 PM

Melbourne residents allowed to travel outside city

The Australian state of Victoria has recorded its 10th day of no new cases, in what premier Daniel Andrews said is a vindication of his harsh lockdown policies. From Monday, Melbourne residents will be able to travel outside of the city to other destinations in the state, which is roughly the size of the UK in area.

Restaurants, pubs and cafes will be able to host up to 40 customers indoors and 70 outdoors, while gyms and indoor sporting facilities can open with up to 20 people at a time. "Nothing about this year has been easy," Mr Andrews said in a statement. "But we did it. Because staying apart meant keeping each other safe.

Today, because of that sacrifice, our state can be whole again." Some restrictions remain. "You can still only have a maximum of two people to visit per day," he said. "Going forward though, those two people don't need to be from the same household, and they'll be able to come at different times." Mr Andrews said it was important to stick to the visitor rules.

"The data are very clear on this: so many of our recent outbreaks were connected to home visits," he said. "Home is where we relax, where we feel comfortable - which is precisely why it's so dangerous."

11/8/2020, 10:55:17 PM

UK extends Denmark curbs to truck drivers

The UK transport department has imposed self-isolation on non-resident truck drivers arriving from Denmark in the latest tightening of restrictions against the Scandinavian country. "[The] exemption for non-UK resident freight drivers [has been] removed," the department said in a notice on its website posted on Sunday. The extension comes a day after the government implemented rules that meant all non-British national or resident travellers who had been in or through Denmark in the past 14 days would be denied entry.

"Passenger planes and ships travelling directly from Denmark, and accompanied freight, will no longer be able to land or dock at English ports," the department said. The move follows health authorities in Denmark reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms, with a variant strain of the virus spreading to communities.

11/8/2020, 10:27:57 PM

UK lockdown has wide public support, says poll

Almost two-thirds of adults in England support the new coronavirus lockdown, according to a weekend poll, but almost the same number believe it was implemented too late. The Opinium Research survey found that 64 per cent of adults in England approved of the new restrictions, while 62 per cent said they had been imposed too late.

More than half -- 58 per cent -- believe that the government will extend the current lockdown beyond December 2, its provisional deadline. The poll found that 45 per cent believe it should be extended beyond that date. Opinium also found just 32 per cent of adults approve of the UK government's handling of the pandemic, while 51 per cent disapprove.

The poll showed that 36 per cent thought Labour leader Keir Starmer would have handled the crisis better than prime minister Boris Johnson, while 24 per cent thought Sir Keir would have done a worse job. Opinium polled 2,002 UK adults from November 5-6.

11/8/2020, 9:59:46 PM

Artificial vaccine provokes strong immune response

Research indicates a Covid-19 vaccine candidate made of artificial particles is more powerful than other leading varieties at triggering an immune response. When microscopic ball-shaped particles that mimic the structure of a virus were injected into mice, the animals produced virus-blocking antibodies at levels comparable to or greater than those produced by people who had recovered from Covid-19, the magazine Nature reported.

Mice that received the vaccine produced about 10 times more antibodies than did rodents vaccinated only with a protein in many Covid-19 vaccine candidates. The vaccine also appears to produce a strong response from special immune cells that help to mount a fast defence after a coronavirus infection. Two University of Washington researchers -- David Veesler, assistant professor of biochemistry, and Neil King, assistant professor at the Institute for Protein Design -- led a team that designed the particles.

11/8/2020, 9:56:17 PM

UK sport in need of support, says broker Lansdown

Samuel Agini in London

Billionaire broker Stephen Lansdown had sought to end Bristol City football club's reliance on his fortune. But the coronavirus pandemic has pushed back those ambitions by several years. The owner of Bristol City, which plays in English football's second-tier Championship, said it has been hit hard by the loss of matchday revenue at its 27,000-seater Ashton Gate Stadium with fans having been forced to stay away.

"It's a tough time but we'll work our way through it," said Mr Lansdown, co-founder of investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown. Read more here

11/8/2020, 9:51:08 PM

New Zealand releases seamen from quarantine

All but seven of the 235 Russian and Ukrainian seamen put into isolation in New Zealand left quarantine over the weekend, officials said. New Zealand's health ministry said they would be free to rejoin their vessels after their release.

The mariners arrived on October 16 on a charter flight from Moscow and have since been in a dedicated quarantine facility in Christchurch. Health workers found 31 positive coronavirus cases. The seamen were given 22 days in managed isolation, daily health checks and up to five Covid-19 tests.

"The remaining seven continue to be monitored and will be required to meet the recovered case definition and receive a final health check before leaving," the ministry said.

11/8/2020, 9:49:33 PM

News you might have missed . . .

US president-elect Joe Biden plans to name a task force to deal with the coronavirus pandemic before he takes office as he tries to get a grip on the more than 100,000 new cases a day reported nationwide. He is expected on Monday to announce a 12-member team to tackle the virus. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, contracted Covid-19 just weeks after US president Donald Trump came down with the virus.

Mr Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman, was diagnosed one day after the November 3 election, according to a former senior White House official. Growth in China's exports jumped to its highest level in more than a year and a half in October. Exports from the world's second-biggest economy beat analysts' expectations to rise 11.4 per cent year-on-year during the month, official data showed on Saturday, the strongest growth rate since March 2019.

The number of Canadians with severe forms of Covid-19 continues to rise, according to its chief medical officer. Theresa Tam said at the weekend that 1,200 people with Covid-19 were being treated in hospitals in the week ending November 5, up from 1,107 the previous week and 1,010 the week before.

Online fashion retailer Farfetch has clinched £1.1bn in investment from Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Swiss watch and jewellery group Richemont, in a sign that the pandemic is accelerating the shift of the industry's centre of gravity to Asia and making digital selling much more important. Pret A Manger, Hugo Boss and the UK's largest independent toy retailer have been threatened with legal action by shopping centre landlord Westfield over unpaid rent as England enters a second lockdown. "It's ... not a reasonable action for a landlord to take," said Gary Grant, chairman of The Entertainer, a toy chain. Thai competition authorities have approved CP's £10.6bn takeover of Tesco's south-east Asian operations.

The British supermarket group plans to return GBP5bn to investors via a special dividend, a payout likely to prove controversial, given both its size and the backdrop of the UK's coronavirus pandemic. Uber missed Wall Street forecasts as the pandemic weighed on the company's ride-sharing revenues. The company narrowed its third-quarter losses to £1.09bn, marginally worse than analysts' estimates of £1.02bn, according to S&P Capital IQ data.

Overall revenue fell 18 per cent, worse than expected.

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